Car burglaries could be work of Felony Lane Gang

Author: Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 24 2014 04:20:25 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 24 2014 08:02:19 PM EST
St Johns car breakins
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -

Deputies in St. Johns County say they received several reports of car burglaries over the weekend that could be the work of the so-called Felony Lane Gang.

The group is believed to be operating all over the country. Authorities say its MO is to steal purses and wallets from cars, write checks, then trick bank tellers into giving them money from the victims' accounts by pulling into the drive-through lane farthest from the bank teller window. They even go so far as to wear wigs to resemble the victim's ID.

"We had several cases over the weekend. Detectives are looking into those cases trying to figure out if they are Felony Lane-related," Sgt. Catherine Payne said. "We do know they travel together in groups, usually in several different rental vehicles so they're not in vehicles that would come back to them identifying them."

Officials say the Felony Lane thieves are targeting places like gyms, parks and golf courses. If a woman walks inside just for a moment, all it takes is a matter of seconds for her to become a victim.

Taylor McQuaide said it happened to her. She said about $3,000 was taken from her account.

"I literally walked right in, grabbed my son and walked out, parked right in front of the front door of my day care," McQuaide said. "I was in there less than two minutes. It happened that fast. It's like, how many other things could they have out in my name right now, you know, that I don't even know about yet?"

Deputies are asking people to not leave purses in cars and always lock up. They also hope businesses with surveillance video from this weekend will come forward with any evidence. Above all, they want people to be vigilant.

"I never expected any repercussions, like for them to really, actually steal my identity," McQuaide said. "I just didn't think something like that was going to happen to me. Just be mindful. It can happen to you."